Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.
It always comes back to drawing and the human form. If you ask me what interests me most, what captures my imagination and moves me to capture it, it would be the figure and the portrait. The more I work at it, the more I appreciate the intricacies and wonders we humans are. Living, breathing, moving or still--I am always amazed! Young, old, every race, either sex, I am fascinated at how we are all the same and so very different.
It has also been the most challenging thing to learn. The portrait for sure. I'm not sure I will ever be satisfied with that skill set. But then, I have to admit I am not as committed to things as I ought to be. (Sigh).
Recently at lunch with a friend, she told me of her determination to master the skills required to draw the figure. She went about it in a very intentional way by finding a teacher who taught a method she believes will be a good fit for her. She then set aside the time ( usually my biggest obstacle) and even rented co-op studio space -to be around other like minded (serious) artist and have a place to set up and work without interruption. Now I call that commitment!
While I'll admit to not having that drive at this place and time in my life, I did fit in a class last winter. Concentrating on one thing until it's mastered is a valuable use of your time. Like my friend, I spent time each class concentrating on one area of the anatomy. Hands and feet...now there is a challenge. Such hard working parts of the anatomy! Lots of moving parts.
While my work was not as ambitious or dedicated, it's clear that to improve your skills you need a plan and to set aside the time to reach your goals. Even small goals, like improving your understanding of one part of the anatomy.
Some of us can take grand steps forward and some of us only baby steps. But any move forward is still a move forward. So whatever you are able to do at the time, well, that's a gift you give yourself. Thank you, to my friend Deborah, for reminding me of that!